Let the Shopping Begin: Outer Banks Holiday Markets

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Local artists and artisans are bringing out all of their fun goods to make it easy for us to buy holiday gifts again this year. I went to Dowdy Park Market last Saturday morning and was blown away at the variety of goods for sale: jewelry, pottery, photography, woodworks, baked goods, bath and body products, macrame, plants, trolls, clothing, textiles, paintings, shell art, candles, baskets, hot sauces, freeze-dried candy and so many more creative wonders. I got a great start on the gift shopping and had to run away fast so I wouldn’t start shopping for myself. Be forewarned: It takes some serious willpower to stick to the list at these events!

The best thing about shopping at these local markets is that the goods are right here where you can touch them – not some virtual idea of a product that’s actually sitting on a container ship right now. This is true of the goods at local markets and also, of course, of those in the local retail shops. They’re already here. These artists and retailers are depending on us to buy them, in the holiday season and all year round. It feels good to support the local makers and store owners and return the money you spend right back into the local economy.

Markets are popping up in abundance on the Outer Banks in November and December. Here are a few of them, and I’ll keep updating this list as I learn about more. Photo of Whalehead Christmas Craft Village courtesy of visitcurrituck.com.

First Flight Holiday Markets

Tuesday, December 7
Saturday, December 18

The Town of Kill Devil Hills is hosting four opportunities to shop local, starting this Saturday, November 20. Stop by Aviation Park, 103 Veterans Drive across from First Flight High School, to shop among more than 50 vendors and catch up with your local friends. The Saturday markets are held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Tuesday markets are held from 4 to 7 p.m. Send your kids to the playground or skateboard ramp while you shop.

Secotan Market

Wednesday, November 24
Saturdays, December 4 and 18

Secotan Market in Wanchese is holding special holiday markets on Wednesday, November 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and on Saturdays, December 4 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. They'll have locally grown produce, ferments, meats, eggs, spices, baked goods and other food items as usual, and at each show they feature a handful of artisans so you can pick up holiday gifts as well. Although, consumables are great gifts in my mind. You’ll find Secotan Market on N.C. Highway 345 as you head down to Wanchese.

Whalehead's Christmas Craft Village

Friday, November 26

Black Friday shopping is a whole lot more enjoyable in this beautiful setting along Currituck Sound. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. you'll find a village full of art and craft vendors. You can also take a carriage ride around Historic Corolla Park, visit with Santa and purchase snacks from food vendors. Photo below courtesy of visitcurrituck.com.

Buxton Lighthouse Art Show

Friday, November 26

Saturday, November 27

Dozens of artists and crafters, including the popular Muse Originals Bus 252, will gather at Family Life Center in Buxton across the Street from Cape Hatteras School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, November 26.

Avon Farmers Market

Friday, November 26

The Avon Market will hold on last event on Black Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  About 40 vendors will be selling arts, crafts, food, produce and more. You’ll find the site at Koru Beach Klub next to Avon Pier.

Outer Banks Entrepreneurs Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, November 27

This group of women includes artists, crafters, direct salespersons and more. Their annual market is a great place to buy gifts, learn about business opportunities or get inspired to be your own boss. The show is held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ramada Plaza Oceanfront in Kill Devil Hills.

Surfin Spoon's Christmas Artisan's Market

Saturday, November 27

Stop by Surfin' Spoon on the Beach Road in Nags Head for live music and shopping with 13 local makers, including painters, jewelers, candles, body products and more. They'll have coffee and hot apple cider and, of course, tasty froyo.

Dowdy Park Holiday Markets

Saturday, November 27 
Thursday, December 2
Saturday, December 11

As I mentioned above, these Town of Nags Head-sponsored markets are a great place to stock up on gifts and goodies for yourself or your home. More than 50 vendors show their goods. These off-season markets are great places to catch up with your neighbors and friends – since most of us locals are working during the summer markets. Let the kids play on the playground equipment while you shop. The Saturday markets are held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the Thursday market is from 4 to 7 p.m. You’ll find it at MP 11 on the corner of Bonnet Street and Croatan Highway, across from the Outer Banks Family YMCA. Photo below courtesy Town of Nags Head.

Starvin’ Artists Christmas Party

Saturday, December 4

The Starvin’ Artists Christmas Party is probably the longest-running holiday market on the Outer Banks. It’s been going on for decades, first in private homes and now, ironically, in the newest venue on the Outer Banks, Swells’a Brewing. Swells’a is a very cool new brewery on the Beach Road, and their yard is a great place to shop while you sip on their craft beers, wines and ciders. The show is held from 1 to 6 p.m.

Wacky Whimsical Winterland Market

Friday, December 3
Saturday, December 4

Friday, December 10

Saturday, December 11

Friday, December 17

Saturday, December 18

Thursday, December 23

Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint on the Beach Road in Kill Devil Hills offers plentiful opportunities to shop at its Wacky Whimsical Winterland Markets. The markets are held in the backyard, which is transformed into a wacky winter atmosphere with holiday decor, music and refreshments. The Friday shows are from 4 to 8 p.m., and the Saturday shows are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The show on December 23 is from 4 to 8 p.m. Be sure to grab a beer to sip while you shop.

Merry Makers Market

Friday, December 10 

The Village Table and Tavern in Duck holds Makers Markets all summer long, but this holiday market is the chance for all the north beach locals to catch up over drinks and shopping in this beautiful soundside outdoor venue. They light the firepits and offer s’mores, and you can sip while you shop. It’s held from 4 to 8 p.m., and you’d be crazy not to stay for dinner after you shop.

OBX Fitness Collective Winter Market

Saturday, December 18

OBX Fitness Collective opens its doors to host artists and shoppers one Saturday each holiday season. Check it out from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll find the collective at 3810 Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk, in the same shopping center as Capt. Frank’s Hot Dogs.  

For all of your Outer Banks shopping opportunities, and I mean literally all, click here. For more events, explore our Daytime and Nightlife links.

Also, if you're planning to dine out for Thanksgiving instead of cook at home next week, several restaurants are offering that option, but you'll need to make reservations early (as in now). See the options for Thanksgiving dining in our Daytime listings.

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.